Florida forward Chris Walker suspended 3 games to open season

Wednesday October 15th, 2014

Florida sophomore forward Chris Walker will sit out the first two regular season games as well as an exhibition after he violated team rules, coach Billy Donovan announced Wednesday.

Walker didn't qualify academically last fall but was admitted to the school in December. He missed 12 games while the NCAA reviewed his eligibility before making his debut against Missouri on February 4. Walker was found to have received preferential treatment and accepted free food and clothes, among other benefits.

Over 18 games last season, Walker averaged 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds. The 6-foot-10 big man was expected to play a bigger role for the Gators this season after the departure of four starters from last season's team that went 36-3 and reached the Final Four at the NCAA Tournament. 

Walker is projected as the No. 13 pick in DraftExpress' 2015 mock draft.

Donovan also announced that freshman guard Brandone Francis will sit out the season because of academic issues. The coach added that Francis, who was rated the No. 35 player in the class of 2014 by the recruiting website Rivals.com, may be allowed to practice in the second semester.

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